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After my death our beloved Church abroad will break three ways ... first the Greeks will leave us as they were never a part of us ... then those who live for this world and its glory will go to Moscow ... what will remain will be those souls faithful to Christ and His Church. ~St. Philaret of NY

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..if he repent, ...

Luke 17:3-5King James Version (KJV)

Take heed to yourselves: If thy brother trespass against thee, rebuke him; and if he repent, forgive him.
And if he trespass against thee seven times in a day, and seven times in a day turn again to thee, saying, I repent; thou shalt forgive him.

1 comment:

Joanna said...

Forgiveness can be abused, like "not judging" is abused. A battered wife can forgive her wife-beater husband, but still not trust him. Trust and Truth can be separate issues from forgiveness. We need to be careful not to carry forgiveness into the absurd. Like to "forgive" the ROCOR-MP and start attending their services. Like asking a bank to "forgive" a mortgage or car loan. Forgive all the criminals and let them out of their prison sentences. God's forgiveness is perfect, but He still did not let Judas into heaven.

There are consequences for sin. All the forgiveness in the world will not bring a murder victim back to life. A husband can forgive his adulterous wife, but her act of adultery has damaged their marriage, no matter how completely the husband forgives and forgets. There is a canon that actually requires a priest to divorce his wife if she commits adultery. I see how he can divorce her and still forgive her.

I know how I feel when I have forgiven someone. I am free from pain, I feel love for the person who offended me. For this, the offender does not need to repent. But if I can not trust him, that does not mean I have not forgiven him. Trust is a separate issue in forgiving the wife-beater. And truth is a separate issue in forgiving the ROCOR-MP.

The forgiveness in the St. Luke verse refers to forgiving an offender who repents.

An example of pseudo-repentance is the thief who is sorry he got caught.

OK: "I'm sorry for offending you."
Not OK: "I'm sorry you feel offended."

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